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Tax Increment Financing program has benefited the community in many ways since the state initiated the program, with numerous improvements that otherwise would not have been taken on.
And, there have been changes on how the program is operated in Vandalia, one of which has been the implementation of the Best Practices document and the formation of the TIF Advisory Committee.
The advisory committee was formed to give the taxing entities that gives up some of their dollars for TIF input and recommendations on TIF applications. It was formed after some of the entities questioned how the TIF money was being handed out.
The city has made efforts to explain the TIF program to those entities, the latest of which was a meeting last Thursday.
At this point, those tax entities need to be actively involved for the program to work as it’s now designed.
Two weeks ago, when the committee met to learn about, discuss and make a recommendation on a TIF grant application, only six of 10 committee members were present.
And, after some concerns were expressed about that committee’s recommendation, the city held another informational meeting to explain the Best Practices, and to also consider a change that would allow an entity’s alternate attend a meeting should its delegate be unable to attend.
Only four entities were represented at that meeting.
Hopefully, that change will result in more participation by all of the entities.
Changes made in the past year have been designed to get voices other than aldermen involved in the process of handing out TIF funds, voices that represent those who are contributing to TIF coffers.
But that setup only works if those other parties participate.